Does religion oppress women? Might it empower women? Might it do both? This course asks all these questions. It focuses on two central women in Islam and Christianity: Mary and ¿Aisha, one of the Prophet Muhammad¿s wives. Students look at the existing sources about them and ask ¿how do we know and evaluate sources as historical sources?¿ Students then look at later interpretations of Mary and Aisha, both in Islam and Christianity. By looking at how these women have been represented, and reimagined, students better understand these two religious traditions in their historical contexts. Then students will look at how feminist thinkers in these traditions look to these two figures in order to re-imagine women into a patriarchal past and to re-think roles of women in the future. Affiliate department: Religion.